Suspected Congo Ebola victims test negative for the virus

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 04, 2015 3:38 PM

KINSHASA (Reuters) - Six hunters in the Democratic Republic of Congo who fell sick and were suspected to have Ebola have tested negative for the virus, the health minister said on Saturday.

The government and World Health Organization investigated a possible outbreak about 270 km (170 miles) northeast of the capital when the hunters developed Ebola-like symptoms after eating an antelope that appeared to be sick when they killed it.

The symptoms included diarrhea, vomiting and bloody urine. Four of the hunters have died.

"All of the samples are negative ... There is not an Ebola epidemic," Health Minister Felix Kabange said in an interview on state-run television.

Congo has had more outbreaks of the disease than any other country. Since December 2013, the virus has killed more than 11,200 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea in the worst Ebola epidemic on record.

A three-month outbreak that killed 49 people late last year in the remote forests of northwestern Congo was not related to the West African epidemic.

(Reporting By Aaron Ross; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Kevin Liffey)